So how did it go?

I have now finished Component 1, which included researching, designing, producing and evaluating a Music Magazine on a specific genre. My magazine Riff is now complete and I have uploaded it into to present it as a magazine, this can be seen on my home page.

I have found the process enjoyable, and have developed skills in almost all areas, for example… I have new skills using the adobe creative cloud package, including InDesign and  Premiere Pro, which will be ideal for my other subjects and later sections of this course. Additionally  my skills in research, analysis and evaluation of my own and others work has improved dramatically , and has allowed me to produce a product that not only myself is satisfied with, as well as helping others make their products better. I am satisfied with the work I have produced and the improvements it has made over the past months.


So… How is it going?

When designing my magazine I had a clear idea of what I wanted to create and I think this has helped me to create better product with a clearer design structure.

To communicate my brand on each page I created a ‘Sticker’ with the pictorial logo for Riff, its a simple red circle with the custom typeface R inside. This allows me to communicate the brand and brand names within my magazine without using a masthead or simply writing the word ‘Riff’. I have been able to use this ‘Sticker’ throughout, in most of my pages and in a variety of ways including banners and having it ‘stuck’ on the back of a guitar.

I think that the images that I have chosen to use throughout my magazine are able to convey the genre well, in particular the images which feature the drum on the double page spread and contents page, because this prop helps to further reinforce the genre and instruments used, as well as that it is a music magazine.

Design Skills 2

Since my last Critical Reflection I have designed and created both my contents page and double page, and I am currently on draft two of both pieces, ahead of the Christmas break. Whilst designing this pieces I have been developing my skills in InDesign and Photoshop, again learning more skills and developing old ones.

One skill that I have developed whilst creating the two pieces is the fill-content aware tool. Due to the amount of images on these pages I have had to correct many imperfections in the images, and I did this by using the fill tool in Photoshop. It allows me to select the trouble area and replace the content with a combination of the surrounds, for example I can remove spots by selecting the areas and replacing it with new content.


My InDesign skills have been developing as-well, I haven’t had to use many new tools however I have got a better idea of the program and what the tools which I have already used can do. I have played with opacity on images and worked on changing the properties of text, including weight, italics and letter height. I have also learnt more about page layouts, adding pages to a document and adding margins, in a larger page.

Design Skills 1

Whilst designing my drafts in both Indesign and Photoshop I have leant a few new skills. These helped me in this task and will help me with tasks in the near future.

One skill I developed whilst creating my form cover drafts was how to make my inset images look better and how to put them into a shape. Above I have shown the way I made my inset images, First I used the ellipse frame tool to draw a circle the rough side that I wanted. After resizing the circle I then changed the border colour, line style and depth, this allowed me to make the circle better fit my genre as well as to stand out from the page. I then dragged the image from my desktop into the ellipse. When the image is within the ellipse you can only see what is inside therefore I had to resize my image to a result I was happy with.

Another skill that I learnt when creating my drafts was how to change a shapes properties and anchor  points. When creating the banner on my drafts I had to fit the box behind a guitars neck, for this I had to use a the anchor point tools which allow you to add and remove anchor points for boxes. This allowed me to create a custom shape using the lines and shapes already in my image. By learning this skill I was able to create the design I wanted and can now use this to help me in both my contents page and double page spread.

A Photoshop skill that I have worked on whilst creating my drafts is my ability to cut out my model(s). I used a variety of tools including the magic wand tools quick selection tools, magnetic lasso tools and eraser tools. Using a variety of tools allowed me to develop in many different areas, and allowed me to achieve the best results. Something useful I learnt was using the invert tool too make it easier to see what I’m selecting as-well as allowing the tools to pick up for detail and differentiate between colours that are more closely matched like white and blonde. This is something I will definitely be using later on.

So… I am ready to photograph my star

I now feel that I am ready to photograph my Star, I’ve done the research for both theory and practical and feel comfortable that I will be able to achieve the shots I’m looking for my magazine Riff. Recently we have looked at a variety of media studies aspects which have helped us to become ready for our first shoot.

  • We have had a demonstration on how to use flash lighting within the studio as-well as how to use the static lights which are available. We have learnt in what way we need to alter our settings when using all the types of lights and how they can help us create better photographs.
  • We have looked at Richard Dyers star theory and this has allowed us to understand in what the media changes aspects of celebrities and artists so that they convey a particular image. Furthermore we have gained an understanding of how we can ‘fabricate’ our stars into what we feel will benefit out particular magazines and genres the most.
  • Finally we have researched the appearance of a star within our genre so that we can replicate how a similar star from the genre would be represented by the media. Our research has allows given us the ability to design our costumes for our stars, personally I chose to do a simple but stylish outfit which is often seen to be wore by stars of the Alternative Rock genre.

So… I’m ready to make some media!

In recent weeks we have focused heavily on improving our knowledge and understanding of different aspects of the subject. through analysis of magazines and buy using software we have built a better understanding in these areas…

  • Adobe Photoshop- We have learnt how to remove backgrounds from our images using the magic wand, quick selection and lasso tools. We then learnt to save them as PNG files, this allows use to incorporate them in other software such as InDesign.
  • Adobe InDesign- We copied the designs of different magazines using Indesign, this helped us to understand the software and how different tools work. We know how to format text and the ways in which we can change its design as-well as how to use images and boxes to create different layouts.
  • Magazine Design Features- Through analysis we have learnt the feature used in almost all of the magazines available to us. We have learnt about features such as masthead, plugs and pugs as-well as cover and star image. We have grown an understanding for the features and the way the can effect a magazine.
  • Audience profiling- We analysed the audience of large magazines including NME and Rolling Stone. We looked at their audience demographic and psychographic, trying to understand what features may draw in a particular audience. This will really help us make our own media.

After looking at all of these different aspects of media and its production I feel ready to make my own magazine.